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Universities aren’t the Ballet: Why university donations need to have no strings attached


We all know that the Koch Brothers have spent millions on elections. They spent over $400 million on the 2012 election and a combined $290 million on the midterms this year through personal donations and through their think tanks like Americans for Prosperity. There has been much debate over these donations and how the duo is affecting American democracy. In a post Citizen’s United world, we have begun to expect political interference by billionaires. But the Koch Brothers' influence is starting earlier than ever- in the classroom. To be clear, this isn’t new; the Koch’s have been donating to universities for years. But we are now beginning to see the consequences of taking large sums for specific projects within public education. In some cases, there has been major interference by the Koch Brothers to support their free-market, libertarian ideology.

David Koch is also known for his charitable donations to the New York City ballet. In principle, the idea of charitable giving to universities would be the same as donating to the ballet, right? Well, unless the ballet is required to change their production of Midsummer Nights Dream to Atlas Shrugged, then it is very different. 

Koch donations to universities have increasingly created interference in departments. Contracts with universities such as Clemson University and Utah State include the language that the professors would, "support the research into the causes, measurements, impact, and appreciation of economic freedom."  So their donations aren't exactly  charitable. Their donations are an exchange: money for ideology. Florida State's contracts were even more explicit, calling for the hiring of specific professors and for Bruce Benson ( a staunch supporter of privatization) to stay on faculty for three more years. 

This is not picking on the Koch's because they have turned words like "liberty" and "freedom" into something exclusive. This isn't about what they believe, but rather that their money at public universities are used to determine what students are taught to believe. It's the opposite of freedom. Curriculum was controlled in Communist Russia – for which the Koch's have open distain. So is controlling curriculum different when it's about billionaires deciding what's best for students? Don't we want our students to have exposure to a variety of ideas? Read a variety of books? Learn from a variety of professors? Not if it's left up to Charles and David Koch. 

These university donations are not charity. They don't treat them like David treats his donations to the ballet. But if you do happen to see Fountain Head performed by a group in tights and tutus, we'll then maybe we are wrong about the ballet too. 

Is your university or alma mater on this list of Koch-funded colleges and universities? You should check below, because there are over 250 schools and a lot of surprises!

If it is on the list, you can work with us to arrange for a screening at your school or you can connect with organizations like UnKoch My Campus

Help get the Koch's out of student's classrooms. 

Here is the list of Colleges and Universities with Programs Supported by the Charles Koch Foundation.

This list was taken directly from Koch Family Foundations website and was last updated on October 2014:

1. Albany State University

2. Allegheny College

3. Alma College

4. American University

5. Amherst College

6. Appalachian State University

7. Arizona Christian University

8. Arizona State University

9.  Ashland University

10. Assumption College

11. Augustana College

12. Ave Maria University

13. Azusa Pacific University

14. Ball State University

15. Barton College

16. Baylor University

17. Beloit College

18. Benedictine College

19. Berry College

20. Bethel College - Indiana

21. Biola University

22. Birmingham-Southern College

23. Boise State University

24. Bowling Green State University

25. Brigham Young University

26. Brooklyn Law School

27. Buena Vista University

28. California State University - Chico

29. California State University - East Bay

30. California State University - Fresno

31. California State University - Northridge

32. California State University - San Bernardino

33. Campbell University

34. Carthage College

35. Catholic University of America

36. Cedarville University

37. Central Connecticut State University

38. Central Michigan University

39. Chapman University

40. Charleston Southern University

41. Chestnut Hill College

42. Christendom College

43. Christopher Newport University

44. Citadel College

45. City University of New York - Brooklyn College

46. Claremont Graduate University

47. Claremont McKenna College

48. Clemson University

49. Coastal Carolina University

50. Colgate University

51. College of Charleston

52. College of Coastal Georgia

53. College of New Jersey

54. College of the Holy Cross

55. College of William and Mary

56. Corban University

57. Creighton University

58. Dartmouth College

59. Duke University

60. Duquesne University

61. East Florida State College

62. Eastern University

63. Elizabethtown College

64. Emory University

65. Emporia State University

66. Eureka College

67. Fayetteville State University

68. Florida Atlantic University

69. Florida Gulf Coast University

70. Florida Southern College

71. Florida State University

72. Friends University

73. Geneva College

74. George Fox University

75. George Mason University

76. George Washington University

77. Georgia College and State University

78. Georgia Gwinnett College

79. Georgia State University

80. Grove City College

81. Gustavus Adolphus College

82. Hampden-Sydney College

83. Hampton University

84. Harding University

85. Harvard University

86. Hawaii Pacific University

87. High Point University

88. Hillsdale College

89. Hofstra University

90. Hollins University

91. Hope College

92. Houghton College

93. Houston Baptist University

94. Illinois State University

95. Indiana University

96. Indiana University - Bloomington

97. Indiana University-Purdue University -

98. Indianapolis

99. Iowa State University

100.  Jacksonville State University

101.  Jacksonville University

102. James Madison University

103. John Brown University

104. Johns Hopkins University

105. Johnson and Wales University - Charlotte

106. Kansas State University

107. Kennesaw State University

108. Kenyon College

109. LaGrange College

110. Lake Forest College

111. Lakeland College

112. Lebanon Valley College

113. Lee University

114. Liberty University

115. Lindenwood University

116. Lipscomb University

117. Long Island University

118. Loyola University - Chicago

119. Loyola University - New Orleans

120. Malone University

121. Manhattanville College

122. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

123. McGill University

124. McKendree University

125. Mercer University

126. Methodist University

127. Metropolitan State University of Denver

128. Michigan State University

129. Middle Tennessee State University

130. Millikin University

131. Mississippi State University

132. Montana State University - Bozeman

133. Montclair State University

134. Morehead State University

135. Mount Holyoke College

136. Mount St. Mary's University

137. Murray State University

138. New York University

139. Newman University

140. Nicholls State University

141. North Carolina State University

142. North Dakota State University

143. North Park University

144. Northern Illinois University

145. Northwest Nazarene University

146. Northwest University

147. Northwestern College - Iowa

148. Northwestern Oklahoma State University

149. Northwestern University

150. Oglethorpe University

151. Ohio State University

152. Ohio University

153. Oklahoma State University

154. Patrick Henry College

155. Pennsylvania State University

156. Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg

157. Providence College

158. Purdue University

159. Radford University

160. Ramapo College

161. Regent University

162. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

163. Rhodes College

164. Roanoke College

165. Robert Morris University

166. Rochester Institute of Technology

167. Rockford University

168. Rogers State University

169. Rutgers School of Law- Camden

170. Rutgers University - Newark

171. Saginaw Valley State University

172. Saint Francis University

173. Salisbury University

174. Sam Houston State University

175. Samford University

176. San Diego State University

177. San Jose State University

178. Sarah Lawrence College

179. Seattle Pacific University

180. Seton Hall University

181. Skidmore College

182. Southern Illinois University

183. Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

184. Southern Methodist University

185. Southern Utah University

186. Southern Virginia University

187. Southwestern Law School

188. St. Ambrose University

189. St. Bonaventure University

190. St. Cloud State University

191. St. Edwards University

192. St. John Fisher College

193. St. John's University

194. St. Lawrence University

195. St. Mary's College of Maryland

196. St. Vincent College

197. Stanford University

198. State University of New York - Plattsburgh

199. State University of New York - Purchase

200. Stephen F. Austin State University

201. Stonehill College

202. Suffolk University

203. Susquehanna University

204. Syracuse University

205. Texas A&M University

206. Texas State University - San Marcos

207. Texas Tech University

208. Towson University

209. Transylvania University

210. Trinity College

211. Trinity University

212. Troy University

213. University of Akron

214. University of Alaska - Fairbanks

215. University of Arizona

216. University of Arkansas

217. University of Arkansas - Little Rock

218. University of California - Irvine

219. University of Central Arkansas

220. University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

221. University of Connecticut

222. University of Dallas

223. University of Dayton

224. University of Delaware

225. University of Florida

226. University of Georgia

227. University of Houston

228. University of Kansas

229. University of Kentucky

230. University of Louisville

231. University of Maine

232. University of Maine - Machias

233. University of Maine - Orono

234. University of Maryland - Baltimore County

235. University of Maryland - College Park

236. University of Minnesota - Duluth

237. University of Mississippi

238. University of Missouri - Columbia

239. University of Nebraska - Omaha

240. University of Nevada - Las Vegas

241. University of Nevada - Reno

242. University of New Orleans

243. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

244. University of North Carolina - Greensboro

245. University of North Carolina - Pembroke

246. University of North Texas

247. University of Notre Dame

248. University of Oklahoma

249. University of Pennsylvania

250. University of Richmond

251. University of San Diego

252. University of South Alabama

253. University of South Florida

254. University of St. Thomas

255. University of Tampa

256. University of Tennessee - Knoxville

257. University of Texas - Arlington

258. University of Texas - Austin

259. University of Texas - Pan American

260. University of Texas - San Antonio

261. University of Tulsa

262. University of Virginia

263. University of Virginia's College at Wise

264. University of Washington

265. University of Washington - Bothell

266. University of West Florida

267. University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

268. University of Wisconsin - Madison

269. Ursinus College

270. Utah State University

271. Vassar College

272. Villanova University

273. Virginia Military Institute

274. Virginia Tech

275. Wake Forest University

276. Washington College

277. Washington University - St. Louis

278. Webber International University

279. Wellesley College

280. Wesleyan College

281. West Liberty University

282. West Texas A&M University

283. West Virginia University

284. Western Carolina University

285. Western Kentucky University

286. Western Michigan University

287. Wheaton College

288. Wichita State University

289. Wingate University

290. Winthrop University

291. Wofford College

292. York College of Pennsylvania